Not to start this post on a negative note but, I loathe video meetings. I will agree that it is a good alternative to meet with family, friends and especially colleagues at work and yes, I do use it. However, as a tested and approved introvert, I find it difficult to be stared at on screen for any length of time. Holding my head still, keeping a smile and talking to a screen consumes too much cognitive energy talking to one person, let alone >1. Beyond that, it’s just intrusive. But, c’est la vie, n’est pas? We do what we have to do to keep the connections (and our jobs).
Well, now it appears that the days are numbered for the 2D flat video interactions. Next stop: beam me out to the meeting! Okay not quite but sorta-3D holographic images are close!
Holograms are the current revolution in remote interaction. Ever since the first time I heard about it, I have been watching, waiting for and anticipating the arrival and actual implementation of holographic technology. Recalling the first time I used video telepresence meeting room (which was very exciting after being confined to voice only phone conferences, and later screen sharing), I was super excited when I saw that Microsoft Research video six years ago.
In that video, the host demonstrated various interactions in a mixed reality or 3D teleportation (Star Trek anyone?) space.
That technology grew to become HoloLens, a technology used in manufacturing, construction and engineering, and healthcare. I have not used it myself but I am hoping to have the opportunity to use it in technical training.
Portl, a U.S. based company, has taken it one step further to create a new projection device. Portl has gone to market with their hologram projection unit. Their holo portation or hologram telepresence device places a pseudo 3D artist, trainer, salesperson, physician or any other person in the room with her/his/their audience. It incorporates speakers, lighting and cameras to achieve the effects.
Because of the hefty price tags, it may be a while before the HoloLens Portl can be widely adopted (i.e., I can purchase one for my business). In the meantime, I will keep watching for other companies to produce new technology that moves us beyond the flat screen.
Seen any new developments in the holographic space, especially affordable ones? Send them to me and I’ll write about them in a future post. Let’s share ideas!